I just returned home from another adventure on the books– an office visit and three interviews with a major accounting firm in Atlanta, Georgia! I was literally on the ground in Atlanta for less than 26 hours! My flight landed in ATL at 4 PM on Wednesday and my return flight took off at 5:30 PM on Thursday! It was a short trip, but JAM packed! Here’s some time stamps and pics for my ATL adventure:
Wednesday, October 30th
12:30 PM — I drove to Orlando, parked my car at the airport, and hung out waiting for my flight! I don’t usually park at the airport because it is SO expensive, but my
chauffeur brother that lives in Orlando was out of town and couldn’t take me to the airport. Also, since I knew I’d be back to the next day, it really wasn’t too expensive to park!
In Florida we have palm trees outside…
4:30 PM — Took my first taxi by myself! I had an awesome cabbie named Elias who has worked in Atlanta for almost 30 years. He said he was here during the 1996 Olympic Games (so cool!). I asked him if he got to see any of the events but he said he had to work (duh, Kaitlin). He said he worked 20 HOURS a day for the three weeks of the Games because there were so many athletes/spectators/coaches to drive to events and venues!
5:00 PM — Got to the hotel in downtown ATL and was in AWE of how beautiful it was! I was by myself in a hotel room with a FULL kitchen, dishwasher and all! Too bad I was only in the room for like 7 hours and couldn’t utilize the stove and refrigerator, haha! I have never stayed in a hotel room by myself before…you better believe I jumped on the bed.
6:00 PM — Got myself all spiffed up to go to a pre-interview dinner at the home of one of the firm’s partners! I’m still getting used to this whole “being-a-girl” business of wearing makeup and pencil skirts, so I tend to give myself a lot of time to get ready to avoid any last minute emergencies. Being a girl is way hard!
6:30-9:30 PM — I was picked up from the hotel by a first-year staff member and driven out to the partner’s home! It was a gorgeous house and I am pretty sure the grass in his front yard was from a golf course. I felt incredibly bad about accidentally walking on it…oops! The dinner was delicious and all 14 of the interviewees had a chance to mix and mingle with different people in the firm. We sat outside in the glorious Atlanta weather and enjoyed a meal together! It was so fun to meet people and calmed some of my nerves about the next day’s interviews!
5:00 AM – Up early– again, getting ready is hard for me! Especially when I have to wear a suit. But, I think it’ll get easier with time. I have never actually “settled in” to a hotel room and hung clothes in the closet, but with my business professional clothes, I didn’t want to leave them crumpled and un-ironed in my suitcase!
8:00 AM — The group of us headed to the office, which was within walking distance of our hotel! We hung out in the lobby together which was a great way to ease my nerves. Whenever I am in high-stress or competitive environments, one of the best ways I can get “in the zone” is actually to talk to people! I used to make friends with the other runners and high jumpers during track meets and it drove my coach crazy. I know some people need to be focused and keep to themselves before a race/interview, but I really need to chat, laugh, and smile!
8:00-10:00 AM — We had several informational sessions and a panel discussion with some team members in the firm. Everything was very enlightening and it was great to be able to pick people’s brains! What I am learning about a future career in auditing is that the first year is a HUGE learning curve and after that you continue to confront new challenges each day at work. This excites me so much as I get bored easily if I am not challenged daily. I know it’s going to be a tough first year, especially starting in “busy season,” but I am so eager to learn!
10:00-11:30 AM — Three interviews, back-to-back-to-back, 30 minutes each. The time honestly flew by! All of my interviewers were extremely friendly and eager to get to know me. I asked them loads of questions and loved hearing about what brought them to this specific firm and why they love it. If I have any advice for people preparing for interviews, it is to have several questions to ask your interviewer that are MEANINGFUL to you. They can tell what you actually care about knowing, and what “thought-provoking question” you just stole off a interview prep website. Ask, and then listen to their answer.
11:30 – 1:00 PM — Three staff members took me and another interviewee to lunch! We went to an incredible restaurant called Lure. Two at our table got the shrimp and grits (Southern staple) and two of us got seared salmon! I was in the salmon boat (bahaha, p-unintended I promise) and it was so delicious! It came with a watercress/radish salad and potato hash. If I move to Atlanta, I will definitely go back to Lure!
2:00-3:30 PM — After lunch we were all done with our whirlwind day! I had so much fun getting to know some of the 1,500 people that work for this firm. As huge as the office is, I will work on 7-10 person audit teams in my job function, which will make it seem much smaller and help me form relationships. After lunch, my dear friend Harper was able to pick me up from the hotel and take me to the airport! We got to spend a little time together and catch up which was an incredible treat. We recently went on a three-week roadtrip all over the Pacific NW (more on that to come!!) and I missed her a TON!
3:30-5:30 PM — ATL airport is HUGE. Get there early, ya never know when it’s going to take you 40 minutes to get through security.
5:30-7:00 PM — FLying home! I originally thought I was going to read Runner’s World on the plane…
BUT instead, I ended up talking, drawing, playing Kindle games, and laughing with an almost-eight-year-old girl who left her dad AND a window seat to sit by me on the plane! She was so sweet and was flying to Disney World for her birthday. I started chatting with her family before take-off and she asked if she could sit by me. I made sure her dad was cool with it, and then we hung out for the plane ride! It was so fun to hang out with a kid and get to hear her excitement about Disney! As they were getting off the plane, her dad said it was a huge help that I occupied her because they had been traveling all day and really appreciated the break! Too funny…because I really appreciated her willingness to make a new friend and occupy this 22-year-old, haha!
One of the best parts about flying back to Florida? Sunsets on the Gulf…I live in a beautiful state.
What was your favorite way to stay occupied during long car trips/ flights? I used to make up songs, play the billboard alphabet game, and destroy some Super Mario villains on my GameBoy!
Have a great weekend!